The Tatra 815 GTC started its journey around the world on March 18, 1987 from the crowded Old Town Square. The expedition, originally planned for two years, was supposed to serve to spread the fame of the brand even in countries where they did not have much experience with Tatrovka, but also to promote other products of socialist Czechoslovakia. A 56-part informative television series and two feature films were to be filmed from the trip.

Finally, the expedition returned after more than three years, almost 200 thousand kilometers and passing through 67 countries on the fourth of May 1990. And without much applause. The members of the expedition arrived in a completely different country than the one they were leaving. The Velvet Revolution took place in Czechoslovakia and almost no one was interested in the expedition. Even business contracts established along the way lost their meaning due to political changes.

However, with the passage of time, the remarkable route received recognition and well-deserved interest. And it also applies to the vehicle, after all, the Tatra 815 GTC is today one of the most admired exhibits of the Tatra Truck Museum in Kopřivnice.

As the label suggests, the expedition vehicle is based on the serial model Tatra 815, which was supplemented with a special living and work superstructure. After all, this is where the abbreviation GTC comes from, i.e. “Grand Tourist Caravan”. The superstructure was built by the then Vagónka Studénka according to the project of the local branch of the Railway Vehicle Research Institute.

And while everyone who has ever come into contact with the Tatra 815 GTC will remember the exterior thanks to the unique superstructure (and specific livery), the interior is not so well known. Let’s fix it! An interesting video recently appeared on the YouTube channel Klokan Jack with footage of the interior of the legendary expedition Tatra boat.

The car basically had three floors. The lowest was the “basement” with the chassis, tanks for 2 × 220 l of diesel and 1 × 400 l of water, storage areas for necessary spare parts, tools or a 5kW electric diesel generator.

The ground floor included the driver’s cabin with adjacent areas of the kitchen, study and occasional bedroom, but also a toilet and a bathroom that could be used as a photo camera. The floor consisted of an openable superstructure with a tent construction of four separate beds, and it also accommodated the Babeta moped, an inflatable boat and a two-seater motorized rogalo.

The Tatrovka was exactly ten meters long, 2.5 m wide, 3.85 m high, and the total weight of the fully equipped and loaded vehicle was 21 tons.

The vast majority of equipment, gear and materials for the crew were of purely Czechoslovak origin – this concerned both the car itself and, for example, the Mora kitchen stove, ETA appliances, Tesla electronics, Jitex functional clothing, various drugstores, dishes, sleeping bags and sports equipment.

Only professional photographic and film equipment was supplied by Western companies Pentax and Kodak, some medical devices and medicines were provided by the Bayer company, which additionally helped with a special coating capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures, humidity or the effects of salty sea water.

The heart of the car was the T3-929 diesel fork ten-cylinder engine with a power of 283 hp. The chassis was, of course, backbone with a central support tube, three-axle, with independently suspended wheels on swinging semi-axles, the chassis had three levels of ground clearance. Wading capacity was 0.8 m and the maximum speed of the car was 95 km/h.